At least one person died and 10 injured after Mount Kusatsu-Shirane in Japan’s Gunma Prefecture erupted on Tuesday, The Japan Times reported. The volcanic eruption, which occurred at 9.59 am, triggered an avalanche that led to the death of a member of Japan’s Self Defense Forces.
The local government in Kusatsu town and Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the volcano spewed black smoke after the eruption. The agency warned of possible falling rocks within a 2-km radius of the mountain and raised the volcano warning level from one to three.
Level three bans visitors from entering the mountain and surrounding areas, as well as urges the elderly and children to evacuate.
The roof of a resort where 80 skiers had taken refuge collapsed because of falling rocks, an unidentified Fire Department official told The Japan Times. It is not known whether any of the skiers were injured.
Volcanic eruption in the Philippines
In the Philippines, too, authorities issued a high alert for a volcanic eruption. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level over the Mayon volcano on Luzon island to four on a scale of five, CNN Philippines reported. A level four warning means a hazardous volcanic eruption is imminent.
The institute decided to raise the alert level after the volcano exploded on Monday, sending lava fragments, ash and steam 10 km into the sky, Inquirer.net reported.
At least 27,000 people have fled the region since Mayon started showing signs of erupting a week ago. The danger zone around the volcano was expanded from seven to eight km.